Auckland, Feb 23 NZPA - Downed phone lines and difficulty communicating in earthquake-stricken Christchurch have led to thousands of people to turn to the web to find out the fate of their loved ones.
Online application Google Person Finder: Christchurch Earthquake, February 2011 was tracking 6400 messages by 10.30am, with the number growing throughout the morning.
Messages are posted by people looking for missing friends or relatives, by people letting their next of kin how they are, or by people sharing information about others.
The application was developed following the 2010 Haiti earthquake and was based on a similar programme created when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005.
On Facebook, Supporting Christchurch Earthquake 22-02-2011 this morning had 52,528 members. Hundreds of messages of support had been posted, including offers to pay for airfares out of Christchurch and provide accommodation.
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